New Zealand business EuroLease is quitting the car lease business in Europe due to the sharp fall off in Kiwis travelling overseas.
The business has been operating for 18 years and participated in a French Government scheme to sell new cars to tourists for a short time.
EuroLease manager for New Zealand Sarah Jay said all clients who had booked would get their deposits fully refunded.
''Due to Covid-19, nowhere near the usual number of Kiwi travellers are likely to be visiting Europe, probably until after 2022. This means there will not be enough bookings to support two lease supplier businesses within New Zealand. With this in mind, we have made the decision to cease operating EuroLease here at Sime Darby Motors,'' she said in an email to clients.
Jay told the Herald that on average about 700 New Zealanders booked cars through EuroLease a year.
She said that anyone who had a booking through a travel agent should contact them to get a refund.
Although Eurolease is opting out, another New Zealand firm, Peugeot Drive Europe, is still taking bookings.
General manager Delwyn Sinclair said website traffic had trebled since Eurolease pulled out.
It is holding deposits of $300 for each customer in credit for the next two years.
She said normally about 1000 Kiwis booked cars through Peugeot Drive Europe a year.
There was a small ''hard core'' of clients who were going ahead with their European holidays this year.
Many of those had houses in Europe where they could stay for several months which made the cost of quarantining on their arrival back in this country less of a burden.
She hoped business would pick up quickly once health concerns and travel restrictions eased and already had inquiries around the Rugby World Cup in France in 2023.
Under the lease scheme visitors from non-European countries lease a brand new car from manufacturers.
After three weeks to several months driving it was sold as a near-new car to French citizens for around 30 per cent less than the showroom price and helped support the manufacturing industry.